The Wayward Cloud
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Set against the backdrop of the city of Tapei, a jaded adult movie star daydreams in elaborate, erotic musical fantasies. Award-winning film director, Tsai Ming-Liang (VIVE L`AMOUR and I DON`T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE) weaves fascinating, colorful musical numbers into a tale of sexual voyeurism. When sexual fantasies and realities collide, the line blurs, creating an outrageous tale of obsessions.
Directed by acclaimed director Tsai Ming-Liang (VIVE L`AMOUR, I DON`T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE, WHAT TIME IS IT THERE?) and starring Lee Kang-Sheng (HELP ME EROS, THE WAYWARD CLOUD, I DON`T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE), Chen Shiang-Chyi (THE WAYWARD CLOUD, I DON`T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE, WHAT TIME IS IT THERE?), Lu Yi-Ching, Yang Kuei-Mei.
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Now about the film itself. This film can be considered as a sequel to Tsai's previous feature film "What Time Is It There?" (2001) and short film "The Skywalk Is Gone" (2002)(*2). Hsiao-Kang (Lee, Kang-Sheng) and Shiang-chyi (Chen, Shiang-Chyi), two characters from previous films, meet again by chance and start a relationship in the backdrop of severe drought and water shortage in (southern) Taiwan. In "What Time Is It There?" Hsiao-Kang was a street vendor selling watches on a skywalk where Shiang-chi bought a watch in preparation of her Paris trip. When Shiang-chi returned from Paris in the next film "The Skywalk Is Gone", she visited the old site of the skywalk, in hopes of finding Hsiao-Kang, but the skywalk was removed due to new urban planning projects. Shiao-Kang lost his income and had to take up the job as a pornographic film actor. When they meet again by chance in this film, Shiang-chyi was oblivious of Hsiao-Kang's new job, which she discovers only by accident at the climactic final sequence of the film. -- If you have not seen these two films, this introduction hopefully gives enough background.
Bottom line: skip this DVD-R and get the Axiom Films DVD from amazon.co.uk at
Wayward Cloud DVD Chem Shiang Chyi
(*1) One might argue that this is almost universally true of all American DVD releases of Tsai's films. One notable exception outside the U.S. is a 2011 Taiwan release of Vive l'Amour in BD.
(*2) The short film is available as a bonus featurette in DVD Goodbye, Dragon Inn.
In the film, the main female character is not in anyway involved in pornography but has sexual interest in her old friend which happens to be a porn star. He though isn't able to express his sexual attraction to her because he has absolutely no interest in sex. Sex being his profession and not his pleasure. So he escapes into surreal fantasy of musical sequences. Which happen to be some of the funniest dance sequences I've ever seen.
That said the film is slow, poetic and completely captivating. I couldn't look away. I've seen this film now a few times, each time I've found myself captured by the silent relationship of the characters. This film is not for everyone, not at all. It's for the people interested in Art Films and if you're a person that doesn't scare because some one naked on screen then it wouldn't hurt. But this film is great. Its ability to capture and effect the viewer is more effective than any films coming out now. And it being an almost silent film helps it being a foreign film. Almost no subtitles.
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